We hear from the men and women at the front of the class about what inspired – and continues to inspire – them to take up teaching. Here’s the view from the staff room at Warminster School…
Jonathan Mercer (Physics Teacher, Housemaster of Old Vicarage)
What motivated you to take up teaching?
I decided to take up teaching having seen how much a friend continued to enjoy his job after many years teaching. After university he had gone straight into teaching, whilst I had gone into industry and then worked for myself. As the years passed, we both faced numerous challenges in our respective careers but in overcoming these challenges, he seemed to be the one who had not become frustrated.
This seemed to be because each challenge he overcame was invariably finding a way to help a child cope with a problem or difficulty. The pride he clearly displayed kept him motivated and was something I felt was missing from my working life. I decided to watch him and others at work and even ran a few lessons and was immediately convinced this would be a career that I would enjoy.
What brought you to and keeps you at your school?
I saw the job advertised at Warminster School and was immediately impressed with the beautiful buildings and grounds and felt that I would enjoy working there. What convinced me to accept the role and what keeps me at Warminster is the people, both staff and pupils, I have been lucky enough to work with.
The pupils are the most fascinating, articulate and interesting group of young people I have ever met. I genuinely love working with them and never cease to be impressed by their kind and generous nature. Whether doing Physics in the classroom, fixing up an old car in engineering club or camping out for the weekend at our Forest School, they will always surprise and impress me. I am so impressed that I decided to move in, taking a role of Housemaster, and to bring both of my children to the School.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your job and its biggest challenge?
The most rewarding aspect of my job is also without a doubt the most challenging. My work as a form tutor, head of House and now Housemaster have required me to offer a great deal of pastoral support to the pupils in my care. Each individual pupil will face a unique set of challenges as they pass through life at Warminster, which they will often need support to cope with.
Life at a busy boarding school offers a huge range of challenges and opportunities, both academic and personal. When I can be there to help and guide pupils through these events, allowing them to challenge themselves whilst feeling safe and supported, then see them emerge as stronger, more confident and happier individuals, it is without doubt the most rewarding aspect of my role.